The Taman Shud is the Mystery of the Somerton Man which remains an unsolved case of an unidentified man who was found dead at 6.30 am on December 1, 1948, on Somerton beach in Adelaide, South Australia. A scrap of the final page of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam was found in the hidden pocket of the dead man’s trousers and was named after a phrase, taman shud which means `ending or finished in Persian.
This case has been the subject of great speculation for several years with regards to the identity of the person, the events which led to the cause of his death. He seemed to be wearing a sweater and coat inspite of the hot weather with no identification to prove his identity. There were no clues to his identity and dental records and his fingerprints did not match with any living person.
An autopsy indicated bizarre congestion blood in the stomach with enlarged organs though no foreign substances were found. A suitcase which was found at the railway station could have belonged to the man, which had a pair of trousers with a secret hidden pocket that had a piece of paper torn from a book with the print `Taman Shud’ that matched to a rare copy of Omar Khayyam’s book `The Rybaiyat found in the backseat of an unlocked vehicle. On the back of the book were five lines of capital letters which seem to be a code while the front had a phone number and the entire case, till date, remains to be one of Australia most amazing mysteries.
The phone number had belonged to a former nurse who had been married and had a toddler, who requested that she be spared of any embarrassment of being connected with the murder and of any disclosure of her name to which the police agreed.
She revealed that four years earlier, she had given the book to a man by the name Albert Boxall and the police were of the belief that the man could be Boxall but later found out the real Mr, Boxall was alive and well but also provided them with a copy of the book given to him by the nurse.
The body when found had been lying on the sand with its head resting on the seawall, his feet crossed and pointing directly to the sea. The police noticed no disturbance to the body and also noted that the man’s left arm was in a straight position while the right arm was bent double. An unlit cigarette was found behind his ear with a half smoked cigarette on the right collar of his coat which was held in position with his cheek.
Identity a Mystery
His pocket had an unused second class rail ticket from the city to Henley Beach, a used bus ticket from the city, a narrow aluminium American comb, a half empty packet of Juicy Fruit chewing gum, a quarter full box of Bryant & May matches and an Army Club cigarette packet with Kensitas cigarettes.
The bus stop from where the ticket was used was about 1,100 meters north of the location of the body and the man seemed to have no money in his pockets. Till date, the identity of the mysterious man remains unknown as well as the meaning of the cipher found on the back of the book. His death is also not known and researchers are still speculating on the case with many attempts made to solve it.